“Any patient suffering from mental trauma is someone worth listening to. The primary goal of psychiatric care is not to provide patients with an unachievable state of happiness, but rather to help them build up their own patience and resolve to confront their own struggles.”
“Professor, does that mean that you believe that mental illnesses can’t be treated?”
“No, quite the opposite in fact. Mental illnesses can be treated, as long as we provide these patients with sufficient patience and resolve.
“Then, professor, what if your patient ends up falling in love with you because of that?”
Cheng Xi raised her head and smiled at the student who had asked the question, a young, pretty girl who immediately hid behind her neighbor upon noticing Cheng Xi’s gaze.
Cheng Xi was a psychiatrist and, at the same time, a lecturer at a medical university. Because of her age, wit, and looks, she was very popular among all the students, and her lectures every Thursday were almost always filled to maximum capacity. Of course, this meant that she also received all sorts of strange questions at the end of every lecture.
This wasn’t the first time she had been asked such a question, and so she was able to answer it handily. Smiling, she said, “I think I’d be very happy, because that would mean that the patient’s mind is under a wonderful misconception.”
Someone else followed up and asked, “Professor, do you think that love is a misconception?”
“Rather than that, I’d call it more of a temporary illusion.”
“Have you had such an illusion, professor?”
“No, because I’m already old.”
“Boo—-” The whole crowd of students playfully booed her comment. “Pretending to be old is shameful!” A bold student even jokingly asked, “Professor, I don’t mind that you’re old, so can I date you?”
Cheng Xi smiled as she nimbly shot back, “A date in the lab as my test subject?”
The student who had just asked her about dating quickly recanted with a serious expression on his face. “Love between students and faculty isn’t permitted. Professor, I’ll do my best to work on my self-restraint.”
Everyone laughed, including Cheng Xi. “How regretful.”
The classroom once again filled with laughter. The bell rang not too long later, signaling that it was time for the students to file out of class. While saying goodbye to her students, Cheng Xi packed up her books and teaching materials. But just as she was about to leave, she noticed a male student that was resting his head on his desk, sound asleep.
She walked over to him, and quickly prodded him awake. The male student rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked at her.
“Do you want some candy?” asked Cheng Xi as she extended her hand, a colorfully wrapped sweet resting on her palm. “I’m sorry that my class made you feel so bored.”
The student looked at her in a daze, as if she were a monster.
Cheng Xi smiled, left the sweet on his desk, and stepped out of the classroom.
While walking, she received a call. “Cheng Xi, where are you?”
The phone call was from Cheng Xi’s own professor, Madam Cai Yi. She was both Cheng Xi’s doctoral advisor and a national authority on psychiatry. After retiring, she felt restless about doing nothing, and subsequently opened up her own office and lab.
“I just finished teaching.”
“Good. Come to my office.”
Cheng Xi left her things in her office and immediately headed over. Madam Cai’s office was right next to her home, and its surroundings were the definition of natural beauty. By her office was a lake, and by the lakeside was a flock of pigeons. The surroundings were filled with vibrant shrubs and blossoms, and, even more unusually, the water itself was clear and limpid. It was truly a relaxing place to be.
The only problem was that it was a bit far from the school, and the evening rush hour only exacerbated the long drive. By the time Cheng Xi arrived, it was already late enough that the early winter’s dusk was only being held at bay by the surrounding lights.
She pushed the door open and entered, bringing wisps of the winter cold in with her. Madam Cai’s hair was streaked with gray, and her gold-rimmed glasses giving her a classic scholarly air. She was sitting on the sofa in front of her desk, talking with the young man sitting beside her.
Upon hearing Cheng Xi enter, both people looked over at Cheng Xi. Madam Cai smiled at her. “You’re here already? It’s cold outside, isn’t it?”
Cheng Xi cheerily replied, “It’s fine, just a little windy.”
The two made small talk as Madam Cai motioned for Cheng Xi to sit by her side. She pointed at the young man and introduced the two, saying, “This is the CEO of Donglai, Lu Chenzhou, or Director Lu.” And to Lu Chenzhou, she said, “This is the young, pretty, and creative Dr. Cheng that I’ve been telling you so much about.”
Cheng Xi knew of Donglai, a large drug manufacturer; many of Madam Cai’s projects were supported by the company.
She just hadn’t expected their CEO to be so young. He was a relatively handsome man, and probably not even thirty yet.
However, Cheng Xi’s first impression of Lu Chenzhou was not only that he was young and handsome, but also cold and aloof. When their gazes met, it was as if she were but a speck of dust in his eyes.